After Myanmar, I spent another week in Thailand, meeting friends and eating a lot of delicious Thai food.
The whole monastery experience left me skinnier than I started out, and I needed new clothes – Bangkok being the obvious place to shop. I did sample some new restaurants, my favourite being the Veganarie Concept. I’m not vegan, nor am I usually a fan of vegetarian food, but this place was amazing. They prepare their food with vegan ingredients that appear and taste just like meat. It was so so good. If they made all vegan food like that, I’d be happy to go vegan. Definitely going back the next time I’m in Bangkok.
While walking around Sukhumvit, I also chanced upon the best cafe in the whole wide world. A cafe with coffee and fluffy dogs! Exactly like the cat cafes I’ve visited through this trip: you buy a drink, enter the cafe, and play with the animals, only this was better because it had dogs. It was just like heaven.
I did have a few nights out, and strangely, Khao San Road seems to have changed in the few months I was away. A crackdown at one of the bars on Khao San led to the cops discovering a lot of drugged tourists (like they didn’t already know), and they are now enforcing an old law that only permits establishments registered as a night club to be open beyond 12 am. Most establishments only have a simple restaurant licence, and save a few places, Khao San Road is now pretty dead by 12 am… bummer.
I then visited a super fun friend I made earlier in my trip, who now works in Ayutthaya, and checked out the temples I couldn’t get to the last time. I also managed to see one of Ayutthaya’s giant lizards – who happened to cross the road while I was on a scooter. It took me a while to register what I just saw and I obviously forgot to click pictures. But he was huge. Like a dinosaur.
I also visited Pattaya – a place I had visited when I was 9 years old – to see what the place was like now, and also to go to the Ripley’s museum that I couldn’t go to when I was a kid. The museum was amazing, as were the rest of the malls and the little sliver of a beach that Pattaya has. What wasn’t amazing was the constant accosting from Thai hookers. I only had some memories of Pattaya from like 17 years ago, and they were all pleasant. What I saw was nothing like it. Lines and lines of bars, each riddled with hookers trying to get you to their bar for a drink (and more). They even have something called go-go bars, where you can get a beer, have the company of a female who works there, and if you like her, pay the bar the price of a beer, and take her away for a few hours. What you pay her for her services is directly to her and extra – but it’s a fully established sex racket, and old men from all over the world were aplenty. I spent both my nights there by getting to my hotel room relatively early because I was neither interested in being catcalled (they do that), dragged by my arms to a bar (they also do that), and groped (yep, they do that too).
This visit was supposed to be a transit, but it ended up being so much more. Onto Cambodia…